Friday, 27 January 2012 10:56
Job Vacancies Decline in Q3 as Employers Scale Back
Job vacancies dropped by 3.4 per cent in the third quarter of last year from the previous quarter as employers scaled back on hiring amid the weaker economic outlook, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Friday.
Departing from the upward trend following the recovery from the last recession, the quarterly decline is the first quarterly decline since the 13 per cent fall in March 2009.
Nevertheless, the 54,000 job openings in September remained higher than the 50,200 vacancies recorded a year before.
Service and sales workers such as waiters, security guards and sales assistants were most in demand in the third quarter. Openings for such jobs added up to 11,550 or 22 per cent of total vacancies.
They are followed by those for associate professionals and technicians at 17 per cent, and professionals at 15 per cent.
Vacancies were available for all educational levels. Specifically, those requiring at least primary or lower education chalked up the largest number of vacancies, followed by secondary education, then degree qualification.
Services generated the bulk of the openings in 2011, led by community, social and personal services.
Nearly two in three vacancies last year required workers with working experience.
Around two in three positions were vacant for less than six months.
Amid the tight labour market, the proportion of vacancies unfilled for at least six months rose from 33 per cent in 2010 to 35 per cent last year.
In absolute terms, there were 18,230 vacancies unfilled for at least six months in 2011.
Generally, positions for professionals, managers, executives & technicians (PMETs) were less likely to be unfilled for extended periods, with only 14 per cent of such openings vacant for at least six months.
Consequently, non-PMET positions accounted for 83 per cent of the unfilled vacancies.